Posts Tagged ‘expansion’

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Special Edition: Recommended Healing Specs for 3.0

October 14, 2008

Note to all you guys still clicking through after the release of Wrath:

We know you’re there, we see you, this is STILL one of the most popular hits for our blog.  If you’re here looking for spec advice, go to this post instead.  This was made for the days pre-Wrath release, not intended for level 80 raiders.  Follow the link for shiny updated content.

Although your beloved snark mavens usually see eye to eye, sometimes we just don’t! Read on to find out what we think about healing spec options for 3.0. The final choice is, of course, yours but don’t say we didn’t give you any options!

Jov sez: Don’t rock the boat!

I know I’ve stated on many many many occasions that trying out weird specs and figuring out what your spells do is a Good Thing ™, however… If you are currently a member of an active raiding group, now is not the time to go crazy. Things are going to be changing left and right, and keeping your spec as similar as you can to standard can act as a good control while things settle. Try things out on your own time, you have a responsibility to your fellow raiders to not take this opportunity to pick a spec that blows up in their faces.

IMP DS 23/38 redux

I’m going to advocate only the smallest tweak from the current standard cookie cutter IDS build: 23/38. It’s got one throwaway point in Discipline (the one point I put in Unbreakable Will could go anywhere) and the Holy tree is more of the same. Note: With the changes to pushback mechanics, Healing Focus are dump points at the moment, and as such, I chose to dump them. I used Desperate Prayer to jump down a tier. The main change I’m going to advocate is 3/3 Serendipity over 3/5 Empowered Healing. With the death of downranking, you’re going to be facing larger Greater numbers than you’re used to, so losing a bit of Empowered isn’t going to make such a big deal. However, while relearning, getting 25% mana back on the inevitiable overheal IS.

New CoH 14/47

There is no Mental Agility in this build, which makes me sad. CoH is going to be more of a mana hog spec than it is currently: 14/47. Again, I’m changing some things from the standard in hopes of gaining more opportunity for regen while things settle. Most notably, dropping ranks in Empowered Healing again for Serendipity, Improved Holy Concentration and 1/2 in each Healing Prayers and Surge of Light (depending on your usual rotations, the last two could easily be 2/2 in one and dropping the other entirely.) Again, Healing Focus is not part of this spec, and unlike my previous preferred CoH spec, Holy Specialization is maxed. This spec is designed to take advantage of as much of regen in deep holy as possible.

Seri sez: ZOMG new toys and my birthday’s not until next month!

To hell with the naysayers that decry it as irresponsible; I’m totally going to field test the hell out of these bad boys. Why wait until 80 for those 51 point talents when I have 61 perfectly good talent points to spend today?

The Rebirth of Discipline: 56/5/0

First, let’s talk Discipline. I have none, obviously, but I’m talking about talents here. The Discipline tree has long been the redheaded stepchild of our family, but with 3.0 it is looking to become an extremely viable single target healing spec.

Are you tired of being an IDS monkey? You know what I’m talking about… the poor sap that drew the short straw and had to sink 23 points in Disc for the betterment of the raid? It’s time to strut your stuff… try this: 56/5/0

The new and improved Disc tree is all about preventative healing and, to a certain extent, mitigation. Your critical heals will shield the target for a percentage of your heals, and Penance becomes your ‘go to’ spell despite the 10 second cooldown. Use Power Word: Shield and Renew liberally and throw around a few Flash Heals and Greater Heals between Penance casts.

It’s going to take some getting used to, but the important thing here is to use more spells and keep shielding (it returns you mana!). Don’t just stand around stopcasting Greater Heal, you have way more utility than that! Also, don’t forget… Power Infusion isn’t just for DPS.

Alternately, you might consider a variation: 56/5/0

Same number of points, slightly different distribution. In this variant, I reduced points spent in Enlightenment and Grace (hey, 50/50 are still good odds) to pick up 3/3 Reflective Shield. It seemed like a good idea at the time, especially since you’re going to be shielding a lot. Who doesn’t like threatless damage? (Lolnova haters aside.)

Update: Upon reflection, you’ll get more bang for your buck by going with Enlightenment rather than Divine Fury, so I revised my suggestions after initially posting this.

Holy4Life: 7/54/0

Ok, on to Holy. This is going to be my particular playground of choice, and I’m considering a big drink from the Holy fountain: 7/54/0

I know what you’re thinking… no Inner Focus? Honestly, I haven’t been using it that much anyway as of late. Plus, there’s SO much in Holy to play with and with this spec I imagine myself simply glowing with inner radiance just looking for an outlet.

This has the potential for being a powerful raid healing spec, but it’s not for the faint of heart because giving up Meditation could hurt. I would venture to say that it needs some pretty strong gear to back it up at 70. CoH is as much of a mana hog as ever but it’s also more powerful than ever, receiving a boost from talents and crossing party lines to heal whoever in the vicinity of the target needs healing the most.

Like Jov, I opted for Serendipity over Empowered Healing. It just seems like the best choice, given the options available. I also decided to leave Lightwell out of this build, but you could always shuffle a point into it if you want. The way I figure, our raiders are going to be too busy trying to re-learn their own specs, spells and rotations to also remember that Lightwell doesn’t suck anymore. I will probably pick it up again at 80.

Don’t forget to watch for Surge of Light procs! I bet you’ll see a lot of them when you start throwing CoH around, and it’s not just for Smite anymore.

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Jov sez: Looking Forward

October 14, 2008

I try to not spend too much time focusing on Wrath in or out of blog.  It’s not because I’m not looking forward to it (because I am) or because I’m trying to exist in a bubble of spoiler-free existence (I saved that for my media lock-downs during Harry Potter releases.)  No, the reasons I try to avoid expending too much attention and focus on Wrath can be summed up quite simply:

  • I don’t have a beta key.
  • Beta is a time of flux, I don’t have the brainpower or stamina to keep track of every change.
  • I don’t want to spend so much time looking at next month that I forget to have fun with this one.

I don’t have a beta key, and I’m alright.

No, really, I’m alright.  I don’t really want a beta key, so I’m perfectly happy not having one.  This has very little do with leading a spoiler-free existence.  Seri has a key, I read plenty of bloggers with keys, some of which include movies (BRK’s Rhino Bowling is a favorite), and I consider myself plenty “spoiled” to many of the surprises in Wrath.

My happiness being key-free is all about time.  I’m still raiding regularly (we just officially moved to a 3-night schedule from 4, though I still participate in the occasional 10-mans) and between 3-5 nights a week in-raid, I don’t want to spend more time poking around things I’m going to be poking around in a month.  Wrath is coming, I’ll be here when it gets here.  It’s a very zen thing.

Beta is all about change.

This isn’t about anything but me being lazy.  I really don’t see the point in keeping track of each and every tiny change, tweak, or buff while it doesn’t even affect me.  I’m not talking about the large, sweeping changes (I’m as annoyed with the death of downranking as anyone, but it’s intended and Blizzard isn’t going to change their design principle because I add my voice to the QQ), but the gradual process of balancing and rebalancing that every class is currently facing.  What does it matter if a change suddenly has me doing 12% more DPS than every other DPS class out there when it’ll be normalized in a week?  I’m not going to base a build on it, just because I know I’ll need to rethink and rebuild in the next patch.

This probably is also a good reason I’m not a beta-tester.  I’m too lazy for feedback.

I want to focus on the game I’m in.

Currently, I’m playing World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.  It’s a fun game I’m playing with my friends.  I’m currently raiding Black Temple and Sunwell Plateau, and in my off-time, I’m leveling a hunter and warlock.

Oh yeah, Burning Crusade…  Sound familiar?  That’s the game that we’re still playing for a month.  That’s more resets of the current raid instances to focus on.  More dailies, quests, alting, crafting.  More time to prepare for Wrath, yes, but focus on the game that is, not the game that will be.

And all that being said, what am I looking forward to most in Wrath?

  • Naxx — I can’t help it.  We’d only started poking at it before TBC was released, and thanks to rerolling, I never got attuned on Jov to participate in the few and infrequent pokes into there my guild made.  However, my impressions of Naxx were entirely positive (Hey, tanking Razuvius?  That was AWESOME.)
  • Dual-specs — I know, I know, not in Wrath, but in one of the early content patches after.  Seri teases me that my specs are going to be a single-target deep discipline healing spec and an AOE heal spec.  She’s not far off.  Being able to do swap to fill a need without having to go respec to do it will be awesome.
  • Dance Studio — Again, I know it’s not going to happen in November, but it’s still really exciting for me.  I love seeing new things, and opportunities for customization are awesome.
  • Quest chains — I’m not a big quester.  I’m also not terribly knowledgeable on Lore.  All that being said, the big, story-driven chains really float my boat.  Nesingwary be hanged, I want more reason for killing 50 pieces of local wildlife than just proving my worth as a hunter (Hello, Mr. Nesingwary…  I’m not a hunter.  I’m a priest, see?  Staff, robes, wand, massive healing powers…  Priest!) and chains in general feel more thought-out and interesting than simple grinding.

So, yeah, there’s my list.  I’m going to try and continue to keep things in perspective while dealing with what is currently on my plate, which means I’m probably not going to talk much more about these things until Wrath actually hits.  I’m not living in the past, I’m living in the present.

I know I promised a continuation of my Aargh Numbers! post, but Dwarf Priest has created a much better post than I ever could.  I strongly encourage all of you to check it out.
(Seriously, if you’re a priest and haven’t poked it yet, for shame! Go now!)

I would like to observe a moment of silence.  Holy Nova is now an in-class ability, and thus my Holy Nova-free existance is at an end.  /mourn  (You can make me take it, Blizzard, but you can’t make me use it! /mad)

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Seri sez: I Smite Thee – Leveling Disc/Holy in Wrath

October 2, 2008

Although leveling with a Disc/Holy spec is often considered to be reserved for masochists, people that never solo and those quaint folks that just don’t know any better, I’m here to tell you: It’s not as bad as it used to be.

Jov and I both leveled as Holy (heck, she’s done it twice now), and both of us plan to dust off our Smite buttons for rampages in Northrend when the time comes.

Of course, Jov and I have very different leveling styles. Jov likes to group and instance, and will probably heal her way to 80. I am… a bit more aggressive, and the unification of healing and spell power into a single stat as of patch 3.0 has made a monster out of me–a leveling monster that never needs to drink and can also confidently heal any instance encountered along the way.

Therefore, it is my privilege–nay, my pleasure–to bring to you 4 simple steps to successful Smiting in 3.0 and beyond.

Step 1: Augment your healing gear with a select few pieces that will boost your spell power/crit without nerfing your Spirit too much.

For me, this meant putting on DPS rings, trinkets and weapon. If you don’t have off-spec stuff, just stick with your healing gear. Why? For spell power, it’s probably comparable to or better than your off-spec gear and has the added bonus of having a crapload of Spirit–which for the Smiting priest boosts both spell power and regen. (I still have yet to drink any of the new level 70 water from Northrend, and I’ve schlepped it all over the place.)

When I first logged in to the Beta I had something like 1100 spell power in my healing gear, completely untalented. With talents, I was up around 1300 spell power. Not too shabby, ladies and gents.

Step 2: Choose talents that boost your Holy damage output.

There are some very snacky talents in the Holy and Discipline trees that will boost your Smiteability, either with spell power, spell crit, spell haste, or general utility. Spell power and crit are more important than haste IMO, so let’s take a look at just those talents first:

  • Twin Disciplines (D) – Increases spell power by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Improved Inner Fire (D) – Increases effect of Inner Fire by 15/30/45% and number of charges by 4/8/12.
  • Improved Divine Spirit (D) – Increases spell power by 40/80.
  • Focused Power (D) – Increases spell damage by 2/4%.
  • Holy Specialization (H) – Increases Holy spell crit by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Divine Fury (H) – Reduces casting time of Smite, Holy Fire, Heal and Greater Heal by .1/.2/.3/.4/.5 seconds.
  • Searing Light (H) – Increases damage of Smite, Holy Fire, Holy Nova & Penance by 5/10%.
  • Spiritual Guidance (H) – Increases spell power by 5/10/15/20/25% of total Spirit.
  • Surge of Light (H) – Spell criticals have a 25/50% chance to proc a free Smite or Flash Heal.

Keep in mind that at level 71 you’ll be getting a new rank of Inner Fire that increases spell power in addition to armor. What a nice little buff that is; Improved Inner Fire is finally worth buying!

Also, note that while Improved Divine Spirit no longer scales with Spirit, Spiritual Guidance still does.

Now, for the haste and misc other talents:

  • Inner Focus (D) – Next spell cast costs zero mana and has additional 25% chance to crit.
  • Reflective Shield (D) – 15/30/45% of the damage absorbed by Power Word: Shield is reflected back at the attacker.
  • Spirit of Redemption (H) – Increases your Spirit by 5%. (Potential synergy with Spiritual Guidance.)
  • Holy Reach (H) – Increases range of Holy spells by 10/20%.
  • Enlightenment (D) – Increases spell haste by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Power Infusion (D) – Increases spell casting speed and reduces mana cost for 15 seconds.
  • Spirit Tap (S) – 33/66/100% chance to gain 100% Spirit bonus when killing a target worth experience or honor.

Something of a smorgasbord of delectable little treats isn’t it? I even threw Spirit Tap in there, just because it is so delicious, but in my experience… it just seems like overkill when it comes to regen. On the other hand, that 100% bonus plus Spiritual Guidance… hmm. Tasty spell power boost, if you move quickly on to the next target.

Pack as many of those bad boys into your spec as you can. For a starter, I recommend 30/27/0. (Note: This link may or may not work, because talent trees are still being revised. I will update it whenever I notice it has changed, so check back if it doesn’t work the first time.) This contains all of the ‘must have’ stuff with 4 points left (at level 70) to fill wherever you like.

Personally, I picked Reflective Shield (because I plan to solo quite a bit on the way to 80) and Spirit of Redemption (because I have more reasons than ever to be a Spirit whore).

That’s right… I didn’t pick Power Infusion. I decided that the +5% Spirit from SoR was more important. PI will probably be the first thing I nab at 71, though. After that, I will probably top off Improved Healing before going back to pick up Enlightenment and maybe fill out Mental Agility or experiment with Spirit Tap.

Step 3: Smite early, Smite often.

My spell rotations usually go like this: Power Word: Shield (self) -> Holy Fire -> Shadow Word: Pain -> Smite until dead or low enough for Shadow Word: Death. If I have enough room, I’ll also usually back up a little bit after casting SWP, making the mob run a little farther before it gets to me since I have nothing better to do while waiting on the global cooldown.

Single targets die pretty quickly to this method. If you’re fighting multiple mobs, try to keep dots up on them all and keep your Shield up as much as possible–especially if you have Reflective Shield. Don’t forget that Holy Nova can trigger Surge of Light, for free insta-Smiting. Fear if you can’t refresh your shield right away or are bored and hoping to pull adds. Wand if you’re low on mana (haha) or the mob is low enough on health that casting another spell isn’t worth it (more likely).

Step 4: Profit.

Leveling as Disc/Holy is versatile and will save you gold in respecs along the way. You know your guild is going to want you to heal for them in dungeons and on group quests, but they’re not going to want to drag your helpless ass along for quest grinding all the time.

Be independent. Aloof, even. And if you see a Shadow Priest out in the wild, drinking to replenish their mana pool, it will be tempting to /point /laugh but really… you could also be the bigger (wo)man and offer them some of your superfluous beverages.

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Jov sez: Aargh Numbers! (pt 1: Spell Edition)

September 30, 2008

Apologies in advance, this is going to be a bit wall’o’texty, as well as not laid out terribly like I would usually assume a blog post would.  (Meaning no, I’m not gonna add pictures and yes, it’s going to stay essentially just a list.  Matt, I know you taught me better.  You can start crying when I let you know that this is just the first posts of several on this subject which are going to follow the same format.)  I’m just trying to consolidate exactly how the patch is going to affect me as a lv 70 raider.  As such, I’m not going to cover DPS spells or the shadow tree (yet).  I’m not doing this for levelling specs.  Nor am I going to delve into the new stuff at the bottom of holy and disc.  I’m just trying to track the current changes.

As a note:  Priest base mana @ 70 is 2620Spellpower conversion is *.53 (so 2000 healing now = 1060 spellpower).  Learn those numbers.  Love them.  Live them.

Spells: Discipline

Prayer of Fortitude R3

Now: Costs 1800 mana, 1 sacred candle.  Increases stamina by 79 for 1 hour.  Affects 1 party.
3.0: Costs 69% base mana (1808 mana), 1 sacred candle.  Increases stamina by 70 for 1 hour.  Affects party and raid.
Result: Minimal mana cost increase is more than offset by the fact you only need to hit the button once.  Also, gone are the days of carrying aroud 80 candles to every raid as a “just in case”.  Overall saves time, mana, and reagent costs.  This is a huge buff.

Prayer of Spirit R2

Now: Costs 1800 mana, 1 sacred candle.  Increases spirit by 50 for 1 hour.  Affects 1 party.
3.0: Costs 69% base mana (1808 mana), 1 sacred candle.  Increases spirit by 50 for 1 hour.  Affects party.
Result: At the time of writing this, PoS is showing that it still only affects party.  I’m uncertain if it will change to match PoF’s raid-wide buff (if it does, it will be welcome), but even still, an 8 mana increase in the cost means this is essentially unchanged.

Dispel Magic R2

Now: Costs 14% base mana (367 mana).  Dispels 2 magic effects from one individual.
3.0: Costs 14% base mana (367 mana).  Dispels 2 magic effects from one individual.
Result: This is completely unchanged.

Mass Dispel

Now: Costs 33% base mana (865 mana).  Dispels 1 magic effect from up to 10 friendly and 10 unfriendly targets.
3.0: Costs 33% base mana (865 mana).  Dispels 1 magic effect from up to 10 friendly and 10 unfriendly targets.
Result: This is completely unchanged.

Power World Shield R12

Now: Costs 600 mana.  Absorbs 1265 damage.  Lasts 30 seconds, Weakened Soul lasts 15 seconds.
3.0: Costs 23% base mana (603 mana).  Absorbs 1265 damage.  Lasts 30 seconds, Weakened Soul lasts 15 seconds.
Result: Increase in mana cost by 3, but this is essentially unchanged.

Spells: Holy

Renew R12

Now: Costs 450 mana.  Heals 1110 over 15 seconds.
3.0: Costs 17% base mana (446 mana).  Heals 1110 over 15 seconds.
Result: Decrease in mana cost by 4, but this is essentially unchanged.

Circle of Healing R5

Now: Costs 450 mana.  Heals target and target’s party (15 yd radius) for 409-451.
3.0: Costs 21% base mana (550 mana).  Heals target and 4 friendly party/raid members (15 yd radius, 5 healed in total) for 409-451.
Result: At the time of writing this, there is no cooldown showing for CoH, so I’m uncertain if the 6 second cooldown is going back in.  CoH is being made a “smart spell.”  Even with a 100 mana increase, this is a buff, provided you are using it correctly.  If you’re not, it’s a retard-check. Using this spell wisely will enable you to guarantee 5-hits, whereas current CoH considers itself good if you can get 3.  The increase in cost is not negligible, however, and the criteria for using CoH is going to need to adjust to compensate.

Resurrection R6

Now: Costs 60% base mana (1572 mana).  Brings friendly player back from the dead with 1100 health, 1150 mana.  Cannot be cast in combat.
3.0: Costs 60% base mana (1572 mana).  Brings friendly player back from the dead with 1100 health, 1150 mana.  Cannot be cast in combat.
Result:  This is completely unchanged.

Prayer of Mending R1

Now: Costs 390 mana.  Places a heal on the target which heals them for 800 when they take damage, then jumps to another party/raid member.  Will jump 5 times, lasts 30 seconds per jump.  Heal (and aggro) is considered done by target healed, not the priest.
3.0: Costs 15% base mana (393 mana).  Places a heal on the target which heals them for 800 when they take damage, then jumps to another party/raid member.  Will jump 5 times, lasts 30 seconds per jump.  Heal (and aggro) is considered done by the priest.
Result: This spell has changed drastically, not in the effect, but in the mechanic.  However, since the spell itself only increased in cost by 3, I hesitate to call it a nerf.  This is no longer the spell to use in aggro-sensitive moments, or as a way to get quick burst threat to the tank when starting a pull.  On the other hand, priests have been whining since the spell came out that it should credit to the healer as far as meters go, so it’s hard to blame Blizz for giving us what we asked for.  The jury is out on this one, kids…  I have no idea if this is an overall nerf or a non-issue, it’s too different.

Prayer of Healing R6

Now: Costs 1255 mana.  Heals party 1246-1316.
3.0: Costs 48% base mana (1258 mana).  Heals 1246-1316.
Result: Increase in mana cost by 3, this is essentially unchanged.

Greater Heal R7

Now: Costs 825 mana.  Heals target 2396-2784.
3.0: Costs 32% base mana (839 mana).  Heals target 2396-2784.
Result: As must be stated here, this is a nerf less for the 14 mana cost increase than for the death of downranking. Taken on it’s own, it’s almost a retard-check in the same way the change to CoH is.  You need to learn stopcasting, rhythm healing, and re-learn proper spell selection.  You can no longer drinking bird a lower rank of GHeal and get by.  Play smarter.

Flash Heal R9

Now: Costs 470 mana.  Heals target 1101-1279.
3.0: Costs 18% base mana (472 mana).  Heals target 1101-1279.
Result: Increase in mana cost by 2, this is essentially unchanged.

Binding Heal R1

Now: Costs 705 mana.  Heals self and target 1042-1338.  Low-threat.
3.0: Costs 27% base mana (708 mana).  Heals self and target 1042-1338.  Low threat.
Result: Increase in mana cost by 3, this is essentially unchanged.

Spells: Shadow

Prayer of Shadow Protection R2

Now: Costs 1620 mana, 1 sacred candle.  Increases Shadow Resist by 70 for 20 min.  Affects party.
3.0: Costs 62% base mana (1625 mana), 1 sacred candle.  Increases Shadow Resist by 70 for 20 min.  Affects party.
Result: As with Prayer of Spirit, at the time of this post, this is not showing Fort’s change to a raid-wide buff either.  I’m uncertain if that’s going to happen.  However, with an increase in 5 mana cost, this is essentially unchanged.

Shadow Fiend R1

Now: Costs 6% base mana (158 mana).  Lasts 15 seconds.
3.0: Costs 6% base mana (158 mana).  Lasts 15 seconds.
Result:  This is completely unchanged.

Fade

Now: Costs 330 mana.  Reduces threat by 1500 for 10 seconds.  When effect ends, all threat (including threat acquired while faded) returns.
3.0: Costs 15% base mana (393 mana).  Reduces all threat for 10 seconds.  When effect ends, all threat (including threat acquired while faded) returns.
Result: This spell has also changed a lot.  On the one hand, a 63 mana cost increase is pretty hefty, on the other, this looks to actually be the “get out of jail free” card it has always almost been up until now.  The main complaint priests always had in regards to this spell was that the threat reduction was most of the time not enough to actually get your threat back down, plus coupled with the temporary nature of the reduction, it was very much a useless talent.  It’s still only a temporary aggro dump, but it is a full 10-second aggro dump.  The spell now works as intended, dropping you to the rock bottom of the threat table, and enabling the tank to work to keep you there.  This is an overall buff.

Final thoughts

There’s a lot I didn’t really have space to touch on in this post.  The talent changes are going to need an entirely separate post (or two!) of their own, as is any hope of messing with DPS.  I know I also totally didn’t touch on coefficients (mainly because I need to do more research on how exactly spellpower is going to scale with talents and healing numbers).   But with the patch looming on the horizon, I wanted to at least start getting stuff out there.  My current thoughts:  While there aren’t a lot of changes to mana cost in the spells I typically use in-raid, there’s a bit of a worry in my mind that I’m going to be nickle-and-dime’d to death with the changes that are there.  Spell costs almost across the board are higher, usually only in the 1-10 range, but a couple (CoH and Fade) are enough more to potentially feel it.  Granted, the spells themselves are also much better, but even small increases in mana cost add up over time.  I’m not good enough at divination to make sweeping statements as to how these little changes are going to affect me in practice.  But they’re here for me to keep in mind when the time comes.

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Jov sez: Priests and Wrath

September 18, 2008

Okay, I’m reeeeeeeally getting tired of all the doom and gloom going on with regards to priesting in Wrath.  I know there’s QQ’ing from every class, but really…  IT’S NOT GOING TO BE THAT BAD.

What are the problems?

Time and again, I see the same things mentioned.

  1. Doing away with racials.
  2. No new spell “variety.”
  3. No longer the “utility” healer.
  4. Spellpower means warlocks and mages are stealing our gear omg.
  5. Base mana.

Doing away with racials.

Priests were the only class in the game that got special spells per race.  Per the min/maxers out there, I was an idiot for playing a night elf instead of a dwarf back when I was still alliance.  Fear Ward is necessary, fear ward is mandatory, dwarves or gtfo.

Guess what, Fear Ward is a base class ability and has been for a year.  Racials going the way of the dodo is nothing new. Instead of quashing diversity, this was done to enable us to play what we want, and still be viable because we have the “must have” talents.

Yes, racials are neat.  They’re fun.  But they really don’t encourage variety, simply because they’re either good, or you’re an idiot to play X race because of useless Y racial.

No new spell variety.

Oh look, most of our talents don’t give us anything new.  They just increase the effectiveness of our current spells.  That’s soooooooooooo boooooooorrrring.  /yawn

Give me a break.  When 2.0 launched, our new spells were essentially just some additions to the Disc tree which were pretty PVP specific, and CoH.  We got clear casting, but that’s not really a new spell, it’s just something to make us…  more effectiveThe grass wasn’t any greener then, either.

This time, we get Penance and Guardian Spirit.  One is a channeled (and therefore instant cast) spell that damages or heals depending on the target.  The other is almost a mini-BoP.  And even if they suck?  It’s beta. By definition, the process of balancing and rebalancing.  How they appear now is not necessarily how they’ll appear in November, or even in January.

As for spells, yes a lot of the spells we’re getting are refurbished racials, but do you know how awesome it will be to have access to Hymn of Hope and Desperate Prayer, without having to be a human or draenei?  This goes back to the point above, but this actually encourages diversity; we’re not being pidgeon-holed for the sake of min/max spells and racials.

We’re no longer the “utility” healer.

So, what you’re really saying is we no longer have a guaranteed spot because we can fill any role in raids.  We’re going to have to actually work for it. And you’re QQ’ing.  Okay.

I’m honestly glad that Blizzard seems to be moving away from the “this class is best at this, this is best at that” thing.  It used to be Priests were the “utility” healer because we could do everything, where most other classes had one strength, and struggled for the rest.  Tank healing?  Fine.  Raid healing?  Fine.  5-mans?  Fine.   We were Swiss Army Knives, and we were invited to raids because we could essentially caulk any hole in the healing roster.

Well, now…  everyone can do that.  I think that is awesome.  The fact that every healing class can now spec to do any healing role in a raid is great!  We’re not going to be banging our head into content, stuck for months because we can’t find the right type of healing for a boss.  We’re not going to be facing the articficially-inflated demand for certain healing classes over others, simply because raid healing is king.  Hopefully, we’re going to avoid most of the “this person sucks, they’re a loot whore, have a lousy attitude, but I really need someone who can face-roll CoH” that guilds face currently.

We’re going to have to learn our class, and if we can’t, a single spell is not going to be enough to keep dragging us along.  This is incredible.

Spellpower means that warlocks and mages will be stealing our gear.  zomg.

Yes, yes it does.  But we’ll be stealing their gear too, so it all balances out.

This is primarily a pugging issue.  Presumably in raid, there will be a system of loot distribution which will keep things relatively on an even keel.  However, this has always been a pugging issue. Everyone has horror stories of the hunter taking caster loot, or the mage taking healing pants, or the warrior taking pally plate.  This happens, has happened, will always happen.  Some people are dumb, some people are greedy.  Reducing the “variety” in gear types isn’t going to make this any more or less an issue.

Base Mana

If Circle of Healing now costs 21% of my base mana, I can only cast it 4 times before running OOM! Um, no actually.

Base mana is not your mana pool.  One way of thinking of it is mana naked (I hear the sighs of relief now) but in reality, it’s your mana without any int modifiers.  That means no racial or talent modifiers to int, either.  It is a per class, per level amount.

Currently, Circle of Healing R5 costs 450 mana, untalented.  As a lv 70, my base mana is 2620 and 21% of that is 550.  Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s also being changed to be a “smart heal,” meaning it will heal people in range most needing it regardless of if they’re in G2 or G4.   There’s a trade-off, but one I’m pretty content with.

So what’s the problem, really?

Really?  There isn’t one.  This is the exact same thing that was showing up when TBC opened and priests were being told all healing would be done by pally/shammy/druids, and to go shadow or gtfo.  Stuff is changing, but different doesn’t mean bad.

Stop being chicken little.  If you’re tired of priesting, that’s fine, be tired of priesting.  Roll something else, play your alts.  Make another healer because you think it will work better for you.

Don’t go running around screaming that Blizzard is breaking the class.  The class is fine, lrn2play.